The Vespa-like speeder bikes weren’t a big hit with The Book of Boba Fett viewers, but that’s not the problem with the series. Temuera Morrison’s bounty hunter returned to the Star Wars universe in The Book of Boba Fett season 1, but it wasn’t always the glorious Boba Fett comeback that fans expected. Boba Fett went from a helmet-wearing character with a cool costume and a knack for disintegrating things in 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back to a man getting ambushed and thrown around in his underwear. Perhaps most notoriously, the series had Boba Fett recruit youths who modify their bodies with droid parts as his muscle. These youths, called the Mods, then participate in a long, slow chase through Tatooine streets on brightly-colored Vespa-like speeder bikes. Fans and critics heavily criticized the scene online.
Despite its mixed reviews, The Book of Boba Fett was a success for Disney+. The series served as an addition to its stories about Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Grogu, with the pair showing up at the end of the show to help Boba Fett in his fight. Additionally, The Book of Boba Fett season 1 finale was 36% higher than The Mandalorian season 2 finale, which included a surprise appearance by Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker. Though Disney+’s growing subscriber base could account for the increase, the rating jump is still significant.
The Book of Boba Fett’s slow speeders are unquestionably out of place on Tatooine, but the show’s problems go deeper than the Mods and their candy-colored Vespas. Disney+’s Book of Boba Fett suffered from tonal issues throughout season 1. The problem is most evident in The Book of Boba Fett episode 4. In the episode, Boba Fett hilariously chases a droid in one moment, giving the character a goofy scene to shed his bounty-hunting past. And minutes later, he’s mercilessly gunning down Nikto speed bikers he thinks killed his Tusken Raider friends. It’s a bizarre sequence, and it shows the series never had a grip on what it wanted to do.
Boba Fett’s Disney+ series just tried to do too much. The show wanted to reveal Boba Fett’s past, explain his rise to become Tatooine’s Daimyo, please the fans who have stuck with the character for four decades, and expand The Mandalorian universe at the same time. It didn’t always work. In one moment, the series had dad comedy, with Boba Fett telling a character with a cybernetic eye to “keep an eye” on the Pyke Syndicate. “Sorry,” he adds sheepishly. In another scene, Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) brutally hangs Mayor Mok Shaiz (voiced by Robert Rodriguez). The brutality didn’t go with the cheesy jokes and vice-versa. The Vespas were undoubtedly out of place in the series, but everything was.
In the end, The Book of Boba Fett wasn’t really about Boba Fett. The series had other motives besides telling the story of Temuera Morrison’s former bounty hunter, serving instead as a vehicle to expand Disney’s Star Wars universe further. As proof that the series didn’t know what it wanted to be, Disney+ even has the show listed under a “Female Leads” category on the platform, showing a picture of Fennec Shand in the page’s header. So even Disney doesn’t seem to know who’s the star of Boba Fett’s show. And from the erratic tone in The Book of Boba Fett, viewers can’t blame them.